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Monthly Archive: August 2015

How To Tighten a TZe Tape Ribbon

Anyone born before 1995 will know the valued relationship of a pencil or biro pen and an audio cassette. You’d grab your favourite mixtape of songs recorded off the radio and just before you put it into play you notice the tape is slipping out over your fingers and thumb. You grab a pencil, put it in one of the spools and spin to get it back to normal. Times have moved on and the world of iPods and Spotify has taken over. The pencil is now back to nothing more than a writing implement, or is it?

Labelling of today

You’ve got your P-Touch printer and a selection of your favourite tapes. But switching between all these cassettes is taking its toll and the ribbons are starting to slip out the side. You need to get that ribbon back inside before it gets pulled through with the label tape and ruins the TZe cassette while making a mess. Save it from the bin!

Grab your pencil or ballpoint (Bic or Staedtler; brands don’t matter), put it in the little ribbon rewinder hole and looking down on the top, spin it anti-clockwise until the ribbon is back inside and crease-free. Watch the video below to see how it’s done. Hopefully you’ll never need to do this, but just in case you do, you’ll know how!
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Brady BBP31 & BBP33

As with every Brady printer, the quality of the product never ceases to impress me. Being in the position I am, I’m fortunate enough to play around with many printers. The Brady BBP31 label printer is by far the easiest to use considering how advanced it is.
Everything inside is colour coded with guides so it’s almost impossible to accidentally put something in the wrong place or the wrong way round. Ribbons and labels will only go one way round. Everything that is yellow moves.
If something hasn’t been moved when it was meant to have been, it’ll tell you on the screen. If you’ve inserted the wrong ribbon for the media, it’ll tell you.
It has a wiper arm for continuous media which it recommends lowering. This is so it can remove any dust from the media before it’s printed to. Continuous media can be subject to static which causes the attraction of dust. Printing onto dust can cause a loss in quality one way or another. The printer will also warn you if the arm is not down when it should be and vice versa.
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Brother Tape Creator Pro Overview

Breaking from the norm of labelling using tape and die-cut media, Brother have produced this unusual machine. It prints single colour ribbon onto single tape but this isn’t your normal 3-36mm TZe tape, it’s packaging tape. The idea is you can print on demand custom packaging tape to be used on parcels or products for either added security, personalization and more. For example you want to add extra security verification you can produce a tape that says something like “SECURELY SEALED – REJECT IF DAMAGED” (also see how to add an automatic date field to P-Touch Editor) and use the tape to seal a parcel closed before it’s dispatched. You could also add some customization by printing “Happy Birthday, Sarah” and wrapping it around the base of a bouquet of flowers. The only limit is your imagination!

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BMP 21-PLUS vs. P-Touch E300

Brady’s BMP 21-PLUS and Brother’s PT-E300 are very similar printers both targeted at the same users for the same environment. How do they compare with functionality, quality and the labels they produce? Below is a table of features to compare.

Features Brother Brady
Maximum continuous width 18mm 19mm
Minimum continuous width 3.5mm 6mm
Average tape length of all compatible media 4.4m 4.5m
Keyboard type QWERTY ABCDEF
Post print option None / Cut None / Cut & grab
Power source Included Li-Ion rechargeable battery*, included mains adaptor* or 6x AA Included Li-Ion rechargeable battery*, included mains adaptor* or 6x AA
Types of cable marking Heat shrink, wire wraps, flags Heat shrink, wire wraps, flags, self-laminating
Colour Orange with black High-vis yellow with black
Heavy duty Looks and feels less heavy duty than it probably is Rubber moulded bumpers and drop-tested
Hard carry case Included* Included*
Print speed 20mm/sec 10mm/sec
Print resolution 180dpi 203dpi
Housing weight 740g 750g
Font size min/max 6/42pt 6/40pt
Fonts 7 1
Barcodes 9 types including CODE39 & CODE128 2 types CODE39 & CODE128

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LabelStation BarTender Video Tutorial of the Month

This month’s most popular video tutorial for BarTender users shows how to add single symbols into you label design.

Click here to play the video

If after viewing this video you need to refresh your memory, here is run down of the steps:

  1. Click the “A” icon to open the drop-list.
  2. Select “Symbol Font Characters”.
  3. Click the “Font” drop-list and choose a gallery.
  4. Scroll through the selection of symbols from that font, select one and click “Insert”.
  5. Click the symbol into the label then resize and reposition it.

Click here for more LabelStation BarTender videos.